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They should be dead. All aliens should be dead.
~ Lillian declaring her hatred of aliens

Lillian Luthor is a scientist, the leader of Project Cadmus and the biological mother of Lex Luthor and adoptive mother of Lena Luthor. She serves as the main antagonist of the first half of the second season of the CW TV series Supergirl, a minor antagonist of the third and fifth seasons, and a minor character of the fourth season.

She is portrayed by Brenda Strong.

Biography

Origin

Lillian met her future husband Lionel Luthor while working as a physician. Some time after they married, they had a son, whom they named Lex. During this time, however, Lionel began to have an affair with an unknown woman; Lionel, seeking to patch things up with Lillian, paid the woman, pregnant at the time, to keep quiet about their relationship. The woman eventually gave birth to Lionel's second child, Lena.

When Lena was four years old, her mother died and Lionel decided to bring Lena to live with them. Lillian begrudgingly agreed to this and she and Lionel adopted Lena, never revealing that she was actually Lionel's biological daughter.

Personality

Lillian is shown to be very much like her son, Lex; cold, self-righteous, unstable and delusional. Blaming Superman for her son's imprisonment, while completely ignoring the horrific crimes Lex committed, she has come to develop radically-driven disdain for aliens of all kinds. Viewing them as a poison to Earth, beings who are subtly taking control of the planet by making humans worship them, she is determined to purge Earth of these otherworldly-forms. To that end, she takes over Project Cadmus, a secret lab that studies aliens, and severed its relationship with the government.

She is shown to be rather hypocritical, willing to kill bystanders, the very people who she claims to trying to save, in her personal vendetta. While arrogant in her views and believing herself the true savior of the planet, Lillian is apparently a very shrewd and cunning woman. Able to anticipate how her enemies will act, she is able to plan several steps ahead and manipulate their actions.

However, Lillian's arrogance makes her short-sighted (as she doesn't realize when someone close to her is manipulating or deceiving her); when her adoptive daughter, Lena apparently joined forces with her to release a deadly virus that would wipe out all alien life on earth. However, Lena had no intention of releasing the virus; she switched a critical ingredient to make the virus inert, and alerted the police about her mother's crimes. Lillian only realized she'd been double-crossed when the missile carrying the virus exploded and only sent red rain falling on National City. Before she could react, the police swarmed in and arrested Lillian for attempted mass murder and other Cadmus-related crimes.

Trivia

  • In the DC comics, Lex Luthor's mother is named Arlene Luthor. She debuted in Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane #23 (February, 1961) and was created by Jerry Siegel and Kurt Schaffenberger. In later incarnations her name was changed to Letitia, even though in most of her appearances she remains unnamed.
  • The character was first given the name "Lillian" on the TV show, Smallville, on which she made her first live-action appearance.
  • Despite her behavior toward Lena, it is revealed in the penultimate episode of season four that Lillian does, in fact, love her, though it took having a baby Truth-Seeker alien attached to her arm to get her to admit that.
  • Lillian was the main antagonist of Season 2 until she is over taken by Rhea.

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           Arrowverse Villains

Main Antagonists
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Secondary Antagonists
China White | Billy Wintergreen | Brother Blood | Isabel Rochev | Ruvé Darhk | Andrew Diggle | Conklin | Lonnie Machin | Talia al Ghul | Evelyn Sharp | Ishmael Gregor | Tobias Church | Anatoly Knyazev | Cayden James | Joe Wilson | Dante | Grant Wilson | John Diggle, Jr. | Trickster | Doctor Alchemy | Marlize DeVoe | Amunet Black | Vanessa Ambres | Joseph Carver | Zaman Druce | Valentina Vostok | Nora Darhk | Astra Logue | Atropos | Indigo | Silver Banshee | Colonel James Harper | Cyborg Superman | Thomas Coville | Morgan Edge | Otis Graves | Manchester Black | Pamela Ferrer | The Hat | Morae | Eve Teschmacher | Red Daughter | Phil Baker | Margot Morrison | Malefic J'onzz | Lena Luthor | Rama Khan | Jonathan Cartwright | Chuck Dodgson | Overgirl | A.M.A.Z.O | Shadow Demons | Lala | Syonide | Painkiller | Lady Eve | Kara Fowdy | Giselle Cutter | Helga Jace | Carson Williams | Sara Grey | Yuri Mosin

Minor Antagonists
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Groups
Royal Flush Gang | League of Assassins | A.S.A. | H.I.V.E | Suicide Squad | Shadowspire | Demolition Team | Rogue Anti-Vigilante Task Force | Jackals | Ninth Circle | Longbow Hunters | Deathstroke Gang | Stillwater Gang | Legion of Doom | Project Cadmus | Children of Liberty | Wonderland Gang | Leviathan | Black Hole | Mirror Clones | The 100 | Shadow Board | Masters of Disaster | Markovian Insurgents

           Supergirl second logo Villains

Comics
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Movie
Selena

Television
Season 1: Astra and Non's Army (Non, Astra, Indigo, Vartox, Hellgrammite & Maxima) | Maxwell Lord | Reactron | Livewire | Ethan Knox | Red Tornado | T.O. Morrow | Jemm | Dirk Armstrong | Bizarro | Toyman | Miranda Crane | Master Jailer | Silver Banshee | Project Cadmus (Colonel James Harper)
Season 2: Queen Rhea | Project Cadmus (Lillian Luthor, Cyborg Superman & John Corben) | Scorcher | Roulette | Parasite | Dominators | Phillip Karnowsky | Livewire | Mister Mxyzptlk | Music Meister | Beth Breen | Rick Malverne | Lex Luthor
Season 3: Worldkillers (Selena, Reign, Purity, Pestilence & Thomas Coville) | Morgan Edge | Bloodsport | Psi | Dominators | New Reich (Black Arrow, Overgirl & Promethus) | Eobard Thawne | Red Tornado | Livewire | Lillian Luthor | Red Daughter
Season 4: Lex Luthor | Children of Liberty (Agent Liberty, Mercy Graves, Raymond Jensen & Natalie Hawkings) | Otis Graves | The Elite (Manchester Black, Pamela Ferrer, The Hat & Morae) | Hellgrammite | Monitor | John Deegan | A.M.A.Z.O. | Psycho-Pirate | Leviathan (Eve Teschmacher & Margot Morrison) | Red Daughter | Phil Baker | Lillian Luthor | Malefic J'onzz
Season 5: Leviathan (Gamemnae, Rama Khan, Tezumak, Sela, Andrea Rojas, Margot Morrison, & Eve Teschmacher) | Lex Luthor | Malefic J'onzz | Lena Luthor | Lillian Luthor | Anti-Monitor | Midnight | Shadow Demons | Toyman | Mister Mxyzptlk | Worldkillers (Selena, Reign, & Thomas Coville) | Children of Liberty (Agent Liberty & Otis Graves) | Dominators

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